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Map of the Week: Hill Mapper San Francisco


Hill Mapper San Francisco uses the Elevation API to show how steep streets are in San Francisco.


Streets that go uphill, relative to the current location of the marker, are red, and downhill streets are blue. The opacity of the color represents how steep the hill is.


If you drag around the marker, the Polylines change color, as the marker’s elevation changes the relative elevation of the streets.


It’s particularly powerful if you view it with satellite imagery.


If you want to search for a particular location, the search box uses Places Autocomplete to help you find it.


All around, this is a nice, innovative use of our APIs to show off useful information.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

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Hey y’all, it’s Friday again, and Fab Friday is back with a great new video.


It’s high summer in the Northern Hemisphere and you’re going to want to go outdoors. Specifically, on the street. As we announced last week, with the latest version of the Google Maps SDK for iOS you can now include Street View in your app. Brett Morgan from the Maps Developer Relations team produced a Maps Shortcuts episode on this new feature, showing you how easy it is to start. Check it out:



That’s all for this week, see you next week!


Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

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Why we like it: This is a classic mashup style map, using the Google Maps JavaScript API with the Flickr API to create HeatmapLayers of photos tagged as Monarch Butterflies.


You can see in the 2012 migration season there were many pictures taken of the Monarchs all over and many of them made it up to Canada. And in 2013 that number dropped off considerably, possibly due to the increased use of pesticides.



The map defaults to a satellite map type, but if you click on “Map” it changes to our roadmap map type. You can see the map uses the Google Maps visual refresh.


We really like how this map uses these two APIs to discover and display trends that neither of the APIs were designed to do. We also like the great use of Google Maps for data visualization, and hope we see more from this developer.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

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Author Photo

It’s been a while since we posted a Fab Friday post. Naturally, with it being summer and all, I was a little distracted. But it’s not summer in Sydney, and they’ve been busy! You may have seen that we launched Dynamic Maps Engine Layers in the JavaScript Maps API a couple weeks ago. Josh Livni hosted a Maps Live episode on it: Visualizing Maps Engine Data on JavaScript Maps. Check it out:


This week we launched version 1.4 of the Google Maps SDK for iOS. It includes cool new features like Street View, indoor maps, and an updated map style. Check out this Maps Live episode Luke Mahe and I did.


It’s shaping up to be a great summer in the Northern Hemisphere! Thanks Sydney!
Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

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Why we like it: The Portsmouth History Photo Map is a great demonstration of combining old maps and photos with Google Maps.

You start by viewing the 1896 map of Portsmouth on top of a Google Map. The old map is overlayed on top of the Google Map using an ImageMapType.


You can choose to look at standard Google Maps base map by clicking on Modern map, which reverts you to the road map.


The featured markers, such as this one for Charles Dickens, are created using a standard Marker with a custom icon and size.


Instead of the standard InfoWindow, the developer created a Custom Overlay that allows for a more dynamic experience, allowing for a gallery of photos to be displayed in the overlay.


Finally, to control what’s showing on the map, the developer created a custom div that sits on top of the map and controls it with onclick events.



All in all a great custom implementation of our API.

Posted by Mano Marks, Maps Developer Relations Team

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Since the launch of the Google Maps SDK for iOS last December, we’ve brought over a dozen of the most requested features to the platform and today, alongside the update to the Google Maps for iOS app, we’re announcing v1.4 of the SDK. Download the SDK to add an immersive mapping experience to your app, powered by accurate data from Google Maps.

With this update, developers can write a few lines of code to access popular features of Google Maps including: Street View in 50 countries, more than one billion square feet of indoor floor plans, and an updated design of our map tiles. For an overview of the new features in this release, watch this introduction from Google Maps Developer Relations team, Mano Marks and Luke Mahe:



Street View
Why drive 5 million miles of roads when you can use a few lines of code to bring Street View to your app? Use Street View panoramas to give users additional visual cues about a location. Try embedding Street View alongside a map or business photos to give your app real-world context. Or find inspiration in some our creative Javascript Street View implementations: GeoGuessr, Driveway Decision Maker, and Converse Street Ready.


Indoor Floor Plans
Indoor floor plans let you bring your users one level deeper by giving them access to floor plans inside shopping malls, airports, train stations and more. In a store finder, imagine showing users the inside of the building where your store is located, rather than just street level.


Updated Map Design
One point of feedback that we’ve heard consistently is that you want a map that blends seamlessly with your app UI. This version of the Google Maps SDK for iOS includes an update to the map tiles, that draws design inspiration from the new Google Maps. We’ve removed the yellow roads, which gives the map a more neutral palette, so that your app’s colors, styles, and map markers can stand out.

The updated map design (right) is inspired by the new Google Maps and has a more neutral palette, so that your app UI can shine.

We’re continuing to iterate rapidly to add features that you want. Let us know what you’d like to see in the next release of the Google Maps SDK for iOS using the issue tracker, and if you have questions, post them to the Google Maps API Developer Community.

Posted by Daniel Schramm, Associate Product Manager, Google Maps.